March 14, 2011
The Gwinnett County Public Library Board of Trustees held its regularly scheduled meeting on March 14, 2011 at the Suwanee Branch. Present were Board members Phyllis Oxendine-Chair, Phillip Saxton-Vice Chair, Babs Wagoner-Secretary, Betty Atkinson-Treasurer and Suzanne Skeen. Administrative staff members present were Nancy Stanbery-Kellam-Executive Director, Liz Forster-Deputy Director, Jane Walters-Business Services Director, Barbara Spruill-Branch Services Director, Kim Rodriguez-Human Resources Director, Deb George-Materials Management Director and Pamela Covington-Administrative Assistant. Other administrative staff were also in attendance. Phyllis called the meeting to order at 6:30 PM.
Introduction of New Board Member
Nancy introduced new Board member Suzanne Skeen who was nominated by Lynette Howard, District 2 Commissioner, to serve on the Board through 2014. Suzanne is the Media Specialist at Parsons Elementary in Suwanee. She was named GCPS Media Specialist of the Year in 2010. In 2005, she was voted Teacher of the Year by the faculty at Parsons and was voted one of the top twenty teachers in Gwinnett County.
Report from Nancy Stanbery-Kellam
Nancy discussed visiting branches with Board member Betty Atkinson. Betty reported when appointed to the Board her goal was to learn as much as possible about the system and to visit all 15 branches. Betty has already visited 10 branches with Nancy and Liz. Betty stated Gwinnett County is fortunate to have such a wonderful library system. She complimented staff and thanked them for their hard work.
Library Revenue Enhancement Initiative – Better World Books (BWB) Green Boxes
Nancy displayed a sample Green BWB Recycle Box and explained the Library will be the Preferred Literacy Partner for Gwinnett County through the BWB Used Books Collection Program. Books collected in the Green Boxes will be sold online, recycled or donated to help support literacy around the world. The Library will receive a portion of the funds generated
from the sale of used books collected from the Gwinnett County boxes. In addition to the boxes located around the community, the Library will place Green Boxes at all 15 branches during the next week. Nancy stated staff has worked hard to make this opportunity possible.
Nancy shared photos with Board members and discussed several successful Author events over the past couple months. The library has received great press regarding the events, and the community has embraced the programs. Nancy distributed flyers announcing upcoming Author Programs: Susanne Brockman, March 26, Parc at Duluth; Kristin Hannah, April 1, Atlanta Marriott Norcross; Andrew F. Smith, May 1, 150th Anniversary of the Civil War, Lawrenceville Female Seminary; Nationally Renowned Gardening Experts and Gardening Book Authors Vince Dooley, Erica Glasener, Jim Wilson and Jane Bath at Gwinnett Technical College on April 20. Customers enjoy interacting with authors. With the help of the Friends of the Library, volunteers and community partners, the Library has been able to provide these events with little to no funds.
Altered Book Art Competition
This is the Library’s third year partnering with the Hudgens Art Center for the Altered Book Art Competition. Thirty people attended a workshop Saturday, March 12. A teacher at Mill Creek High School informed the Library that some of her students will be participating in the contest. The Library is pleased with this wonderful program and the involvement of schools and the community.
Guys Read Program
The Library is excited about the Guys Read Program which will begin on Wednesday, March 30 at 7:00 PM at the Five Forks Branch. This program helps mentors build great relationships with boys and young men in their life. The Library is recruiting mentors and men who work with local youth to provide input into how to nurture and grow this program. The Library can play a role in mentoring relationships through library tours, activities, book discussions and movie screening. Information regarding the program was posted on The Big Brothers website and will be featured in their March newsletter. C. Douglas Johnson, Associate Professor at Georgia Gwinnett College, James Rayford, Director of Academic Support for GCPS, and Keith Scheurmann, Centerville Assistant Branch Manager will facilitate the program. The Library is using funds from a Jackson EMC grant to purchase books by author Tim Green for the program.
Events & Outreach/Preschool Storytime Program
A compliment was shared with Jill Howard, E&O Library Assistant, who visits preschool centers for the Storytime Program. “When I arrived at my first center today, there was a man sitting in the waiting room. I signed in and the center staff told me that this was April’s father and that he was waiting to speak to me. I didn’t know what to make of this, but I went over and greeted him. He smiled and told me that I was the reason that April was on time to school. Apparently, April was insistent that they had to get to school on time because today was ‘library lady’ day and she didn’t want to miss it. He said he just wanted to meet me since April was so enthusiastic about the storytime. “
Hamilton Mill Branch
The Hamilton Mill Branch was awarded the LEED Gold Certification established by the U.S. Green Building Council and verified by the Green Building Certification Institute. Nancy stated the Library was trying for Silver and actually achieved Gold. The Hamilton Mill Branch is the first public library in Georgia to achieve LEED gold certification, and confirms the Library’s commitment to sustainability while enhancing operational efficiency.
Five Forks Renovation Project for Greater Efficiencies
Nancy discussed the need to close the main portion of the Five Forks Branch during the renovation project. The meeting room will be available for customers to pick up reserve materials. Not closing the branch would add 2-3 months to a 4-6 month schedule and take $180,000 to $213,000 from the $1.5 million project. The project is funded through SPLOST that is already in-hand and can only be used for capital projects. The renovations will not begin until after the Summer Reading Program. Efficiencies will be increased by bringing the HVAC up to code replacing some of the original equipment from 1995. The changes to the physical layout will help staff more effectively manage the public area. The project will also provide better technological efficiencies.
Service Levels with Reduced Funding
Nancy reported the Library continues implementing the new staffing model which is designed for long term sustainability. This model utilizes a hiring freeze and leveraging positions open due to attrition.
Board of Trustees Meeting Minutes
Motion by Saxton to approve the January 18, 2011 Meeting Minutes as distributed, seconded by Wagoner, unanimous.
Financial Statement – January 31, 2011
Jane discussed the Financial Statement of Revenues, Expenditures and Changes in Fund Balance – Actual and Budget for the seven months ended January 31, 2011. The Excess of Revenue over Expenditures for this period is $2.7 million. This amount reflects the remaining portion of the January quarterly subsidy received from the County. Over the next two months, this amount will decrease as the quarterly funding is spent. Overall, revenues and expenditures are in line with the budget.
FY2012 Budget Process
The Library’s next fiscal year, FY2012, begins July 1, 2011. The FY2012 proposed budget will include the County revenue reduction which will necessitate reductions to Library expenses for personnel, materials and operations. The Library continues to implement the new staffing model, aiming for long term sustainability while reducing personnel costs. The proposed FY2012 Budget will be presented to the Library Board at the May 9 Budget Workshop.
Request for Maintenance of Effort Waiver for FY2011
Gwinnett County provides the Library with 87% of its total funding. The Library receives 5% of its funding from State Grants. The State Grants have specific annual requirements that include: “total local government annual operating support for each library system shall be equal or greater than that of the preceding fiscal year. Failure to sustain this maintenance of effort (MOE) requirement will result in the forfeiture of state grants and state funded benefits to the library system.” The County’s 2011 calendar year budget included a 15%, $2.8 million, reduction of annual funding to the Library. This reduction will affect the Library’s FY2011 budget and triggers the need for the Library Board to file a Maintenance of Effort (MOE) Waiver for FY2011. Motion by Saxton to request a Maintenance of Effort Waiver for the Library Fiscal Year 2011 to be considered by the Chancellor, University System of Georgia, the Board of Regents and the Georgia Public Library Service, seconded by Atkinson, unanimous.
Phillip proposed the possibility of seeking corporate sponsorships and other fund raising programs to offset the County’s $2.8 million reduction in Library funding. Phillip believes it is the responsibility of the Board to do everything possible to raise money for the Library. He invited the Board, staff and the community to share creative ideas. Phillip would like to form a committee to create and put a plan in place.
Due to serious health issues, Phyllis announced her resignation from the GCPL Board of Trustees. She complimented Board members and staff, and stated the Library is in capable hands. Board members and staff thanked Phyllis for six years of service to the Library system and Gwinnett County.
Motion by Atkinson to adjourn the business meeting at 7:10 PM, seconded by Saxton, unanimous.
Minutes submitted by Pamela Covington for Babs Wagoner, Board Secretary.